Thanks to all of you who have followed and read my blog posts about these Swedish mid-century rug designers this year! Next year there will be more! I have appreciated so much all the help and encouragement from Swedish friends and acquaintances who have welcomed me and made me feel like this is a project worth doing. Sometimes it takes longer to put a post together than I have hoped: life interferes (!) or I misplace a key book, or I need to figure out how to best present material within the blog format I have. Thanks for your patience and your enthusiasm about the pieces I am able to pull together. I’m thrilled and grateful to have the chance to work with all this material and be able to tell this “story” about these wonderful designers about whom not enough is yet known by English speakers. And along the way, it is a delight to get to know many corners of Sweden itself.
The lead image of this post is taken from a watercolor sketch by Swedish designer, Ingrid Peterson, later Ingrid Dessau. Peterson grew up in Svalöv, north of Lund in Skåne. From 1945-49, after graduating from Konstfack in Stockholm, she worked for the Kristianstad County Craft Association, Kristianstad läns hemslöjd, located in Kristianstad, an old city (originally Danish) located about three hours east of her home. This organization which owns the copyright to the photos show below, still holds a vast collection of sketches for rugs by Ingrid Peterson, Kerstin Bergman (later Mauritzson), Viveka Nygren, Karin Jönsson, Hjördis Jansson and others. There are also later sketches by Ingrid when she had become Ingrid Dessau, who as a well-known freelance designer during the 1950s, did later work for the organization. The images below show Pederson’s ablity, evident even at a young age, to make effective use of the repetition of simple forms and to create lively and exciting patterns with shades of color in a close range. She balances simplicity and complexity: here her oranges and reddish pinks are offset by a little bit of greyish blue-green, and lemon yellow, and wide vertical stripes contrast with narrow horizontal ones, but the whole composition is based on a single shape– the rotated square– surrounded by pure color.